Many years ago there was a popular tv show called "Flipper" where a dolphin was a good friend to humans and would also try to keep and save them from harm. There have also been other popular stories about the good will of dolphins towards humans. But was this just good entertainment or does this sort of thing actually happen with dolphins?

Well, yes, it does happen and quite often surprisingly. Since it is impossible to know the real motives of dolphins and there is no real way to communicate on this level with them, it seems quite probable that dolphins are really trying to help their fellow mammals in trouble in the ocean. If this is indeed the case, then dolphins are one of an ever increasing list of animals that can show altruism towards others whether they are of their own species or not.

The following are some examples of dolphins helping out humans in trouble. Dolphins seem to be exhibit this type of behavior more often than most other species other than dogs which are well known for helping humans. Most recently was the case of a young man from Ireland who had recently moved to Australia. Shaun McBride, was working on dismantling scaffolding on a wharf when the scaffolding collapsed. Sadly, he drowned in the accident, but when divers went to retrieve his body they found that he was surrounded by a big pod of dolphins. And they were shocked when they noticed that one of the dolphins was using it's nose to try to lift him to the surface of the water but was not able to because the body was caught up in the scaffolding. The man's mother was greatly comforted upon hearing this and told of how the young man had been extremely fond of dolphins as a child.

Another case several years ago involved a tourist who was swimming with the dolphins off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula when he was bitten by a shark. With the smell of blood in the water other sharks quickly came to the sight. Suddenly, three of the dolphins put themselves between the tourist and the sharks and by slapping the water with their tails and flippers, they were able to drive the sharks away so that the man could be rescued.

In 2004 a group of swimmers off the coast of New Zealand were confronted by a ten foot Great White shark. A pod of dolphins quickly circled the swimmers and stayed there until the shark swam off. In a similar situation in the Red Sea, a group of twelve divers who became lost for thirteen and a half hours, were surrounded the whole time by dolphins who drove away many sharks during this time. When rescuers finally arrived the dolphins jumped up in the air as if to show them where the divers were.

So it seems that dolphins are very capable of accessing a situation of peril for humans and can understand what needs to be done in order to take action to save those in need. Dolpins are very intelligent mammals as are many other sea creatures such as the whales. We are just beginning to get a glimpse of what they can feel and understand. The fact that there have been so many documented cases of dolphins assisting humans in need is testimony enough that they are very loving and social and a real blessing in our complicated world.

Sadly there are others who do not feel this way and continue to slaughter these brilliant creatures without any remorse. It is up to us to step in and surround the dolphins with our protection when they end up in peril from their greatest enemy - man. They would do the same for us in a moments notice.

Photo by choosewisely

Responses to "Dolphins saving humans - does it really happen?"

  1. KImberli Offet says:

    Wonderful! Thanks...they like to swim with kayaks in the pacific!

Write a comment